Greening of the Great Lakes transitions to segment within new, MSU-focused program, “MSU Today"

Oct 26, 2017

“After a wonderful, 9+ year run, Greening of the Great Lakes will transition to a new show, and the host of the show is going to be my outstanding producer and great friend, Russ White,” says Kirk Heinze on the final edition of Greening of the Great Lakes as a stand-alone program.  “It has been a true pleasure working with Russ, a real radio pro.”


Michigan State University and News/Talk 760 WJR in September 2008 began partnering to more broadly communicate sustainability efforts in the Great Lakes region.  Greening of the Great Lakes evolved from a conversation between MSU President Lou Anna Simon and then WJR President and CEO Mike Fezzey on how that communication might occur. 

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to work with you, too, Kirk,” says White. “And what’s happening is that Greening of the Great Lakes will continue as one of several featured segments that will air in the new show, called MSU Today.”

MSU Today is a lively look at MSU-related people, places, events and attitudes. White will host and produce, and the show will highlight the best audio content produced at the university.

“This version of MSU Today will be similar to the monthly one President Simon and Athletic Director Mark Hollis have been hosting on WJR for seven years,” White explains.  “Some of their content will be featured in the new show, too.”

Profiles of MSU alumni and highlights of faculty research are some of the other topics that will be explored in the show.

“What we’ve consistently tried to do on Greening of the Great Lakes is to engage our listeners in salient sustainability topics that now have become far more mainstream,” Heinze says.  “I hope we’ve helped raise awareness and create action to answer the question ‘what can I do in my home or business each and every day that will help contribute to a more sustainable planet?’”

White adds that what he’s learned most from producing the show “is how important it is that we take care of this Earth and leave it better than we found it. I hope we’ve inspired people to take better care of the planet.”

Renowned guests over the years like William McDonough, Bill McKibben, Charles Fishman, Edmund Morris and Governor Jennifer Granholm “all have a similar vision about how this is possible,” Heinze says.  “We don’t have to destroy the planet for the sake of economic prosperity. We can have both.”

Heinze will remain the Greening of the Great Lakes correspondent inside MSU Today and says renewable energy is one of the main topics he’ll stay focused on, “especially what MSU continues to do to become an even greener campus.

“I’m also gravely worried about what’s going on in Washington with deregulation, the proposed gutting of the EPA and similar agencies and several other pending, deleterious actions,” Heinze says.  “We must remain vigilant and do our part to make sure that the progress of the last 40 or 50 years isn’t reversed by a backward looking administration.”

White and Heinze would like to especially thank WJR’s Jeff Marcero, MSU’s Gary Reid and Jon Whiting and Communications and Brand Strategy for guidance and support without which Greening of the Great Lakes would not have been possible.

We have greatly appreciated the collegiality and support of the WKAR leadership and staff. Selected content from the new show will continue to air on WKAR, just as it has over the past several years.

We have also greatly appreciated the financial and programmatic support provided by three, loyal, long-time sponsors:   Schupan Recycling (Marc Schupan and Tom Emmerich); MSU AgBioResearch (Dr. Douglas Buhler and Holly Whetstone); and the Agricultural Leaders of Michigan (Jim and Dianne Byrum and Chuck Lippstreu).

Greening of the Great Lakes airs inside MSU Today Sunday afternoons at 4:00 on 94.5 FM and AM 870.